Wildfires rage in four cities in Kurdistan

Forest fires continue to spread in Dersim, Bingöl, Bitlis and Şırnak provinces.

Turkish military operations have caused wildfires that have been consuming Northern Kurdistan for several days. Firefighting is prevented by the government officials in Dersim, Bingöl, Bitlis and Şırnak provinces.

Fires continue to rage in three different regions in Dersim province. The fire, which started in the countryside of Hozat district after Turkish military attacks on 17 August, has spread to the villages in Ovacık district. At the first stage, Dersim Municipality firefighters, non-governmental organizations and the local people who went to the region to combat the fire, faced obstacles by the state authorities. Firefighting only started after 13 days following public reaction. The fire also destroyed living creatures in the forest.

The forest fires that started on August 29 are continuing to rage at the Fırtına Veli Fountain in the Munzur Valley and the Roj Stream in the Pülümür Valley and the fire in Hozat has not been brought under control. Only the Dersim Municipality firefighters and local people intervened in the fire as the flames spread over a wider area due to dominant winds.

No intervention has been made to combat the fire which started in the Pülümür Valley on August 29. The fire broke out after Turkish troops bombed the area.


The forest fire that broke out on August 29 in the Xarsak hamlet of Conag village in Bingöl's Yayladere district has not been brought under control yet. Local people initiated efforts to put out the fire which is claimed to have originated from a high-tension line. Helicopters left the area before the flames were extinguished.

Reacting to the situation, local people continued to combat the fire by their own means. The fire is continuing.


In Bitlis, the forest fire that started at around 10:00 yesterday in the Ava Weqfê (Buzlupınar Rest Area) continues to rage. An officer of the Regional Directorate of Forestry who takes part in the firefighting activities, said that they remained incapable of fighting the fire. The same official stressed that there is an urgent need for aerial intervention and invited the local people to participate in the firefighting efforts.

Ömer Barin, owner of Buzlupınar Rest Area, stated that they have partially controlled the fire which they attempted to put out by their own means, but the fire broke out once again. Barin called for immediate assistance.


Fires are continuing at two different points in Şırnak province. No intervention has been made by the state authorities to put out the fire which is reported to have been started by the invading Turkish soldiers who carried out a military operation on August 29 in the Qurta Xanê area in the Besta region. The local people who wanted to go to the area to extinguish the flames were prevented by soldiers.

On the other hand, the forest fire in the Girêbestke region is continuing.

It is reported that the fire which started as a result of a Turkish helicopter bombardment 5 days ago in the forest area in the village of Mêhrîna in the Besta region died out on its own.